It More Than Just Leaving An Abusive Relationship, Its Surviving After You Leave Too.
I suffered four years of abuse at the hands of what I thought was the love of my life. In the after math of abusive, after a fight, I would be bruised and crying, but it became something we were going through together. We would have discussions about how we were going to deal with it, how we wouldexplain it to the people who heard, how we would get over it. The blame became mutual. There were apologies, but I was expected to apologies too. As if anything I had done could compare to what he did. And I wasn’t afraid, not in the sense that you might think. I wasn’t a weak quivering women, I wouldn’t give him that. He wanted me to be weak, so I tried to appear stronger, and he hated it more and more. That’s not to say that when he was trashing my things, throwing things at me, screaming at me while getting closer and closer to my face, that I wasn’t afraid, that I didn’t hide my face with my arms to protect myself. But when he did throw me into a book shelf, or break a mirror over the bed and push me into the shards of glass cutting my back, that’s when the fear left me. Maybe it was the indignation of it; I couldn’t believe he had actually done it, even though he had done it before. But maybe it was my form of resistance. I had survived his attack and I wasn’t going to give him what he wanted, my fear. But I left. It was hard but I left. I loved him. That’s why it was so hard to leave. Yes, he made me hate myself, made me feel that no one would want me, he had isolated me from my family, and I was left with no friends, yes I felt hopeless, and I felt like I needed him, but most of all I still loved him. The whole time it had felt like we were going through the abuse together. I genuinely felt that the blame was also mine. I made him act that way, god knows I am a fiery person. But I felt like we were a team, I had promised to never leave him; I promised I would be there for him. I told myself time and time again when I was preparing to leave that he had broke his promises of loving me, taking care of me, but I couldn’t get that feeling of guilt to go away. I was the one who was ruining our relationship. I was the one throwing away our dreams. If I could only have stayed and tried harder, given us a better chance. I’ll never forget the day I left. I was shaking all day. I worked in a hotel where they housed staff. I asked my boss if I could move in. He knew about my boyfriend, everyone knew, and he said yes. I had left for work knowing that that day I would come home, get my things and leave. I had warned Patrick all week that I was leaving that day. All he ever said was “good.” Somehow I felt bad, because I knew he said good because he just didn’t believe me. I had tried to leave before, but never seemed to be able to really do it. This time was different, I knew that I would never come back, but he didn’t. I wanted even then, to give him a chance to change, but he didn’t. I came home, I started packing my things, and still he didn’t believe me. He was telling me “good, get the **** out you crazy *****” then I started loading my things into the car my boss had leant me, and that’s when he realized. He started crying, he started begging, and then he started calling me names. I couldn’t believe it; even while he was begging me to stay he was calling me names. But I could see his internal struggle. He wanted me badly, he loved me, but he didn’t want to give up control. Even now he resented me, because I was making him beg, I was taking control. I could see in his eyes, he want to hug me and hold me, but there was an inner battle, because he also wanted to hit me and beat me. I cried and cried. I said I was sorry. I told him I loved him and I would miss him. I would miss the way he smelled. The way his arms felt around me. It hurt me so much. I loved him so much. I didn’t want to leave. I just couldn’t survive anymore the way he was treating me. I knew I would miss him so much. It felt like he was dying, like a part of me was dying. And it was the Patrick that had been good to me. It was all those times when we were perfect for each other. I had never been so completely myself for someone, so comfortable, and so happy, when we weren’t fighting. I felt angry, why did this have to be my only option? And why could I only seem to focus on those good times. But I knew, it was those good times that I had always focused on, it was those good times that had kept me there for all those years. But now I had to focus on the bad, to remember all the times I did try everything I could think of to stop it. I had to remember that it wasn’t in my power, that he chose to treat me that way, that it wasn’t something I did, it wasn’t my fault, despite what he wanted me to believe. It was agony at first. The first couple of months were awful. I met someone else right away. It made me feel better about myself, because it proved that Patrick was wrong. Other people did want me. I don’t know if it was because I was afraid of being alone, or just that I happened to meet the perfect man for me even though it was too soon, and I didn’t want to risk losing him. But I started dating someone, much too soon. It helped end the agony and hopelessness, at first. He treated me so well, so different than the way Patrick treated me, the complete opposite. He was also devoted to me, and treated me like I was precious to him. It made me so happy. But as time has passed, it has gotten harder again. I miss Patrick, I still love him. And my once understanding boyfriend tells me that I should be over Patrick by now, it has been 8 months, I shouldn’t care anymore. I feel like no one understands. Everyone seems to think that because he treated me like crap, I shouldn’t’ care about him. They say: “you're not over the guy who spat in your face, who hit you, who pinned u to walls?” they don’t understand. I didn’t break up with Patrick, Patrick died. It wasn’t that I stopped loving him, he died, and the man I loved died. So no, I’m not over it. I miss that man, and if he hadn’t died than I would still be with him. How can anyone expect me to ever be completely over it? He had treated me like gold at one point, and even in between the ****** times, up until closer to the end. It wasn’t all bad all the time, that’s what ppl don’t seem to understand. And now I see him, and he’s nice to me, and I see that man that I had loved, the one that was good to me. And I think, what have I done? He wasn’t dead. It’s like out of a movie, the wife remarries because she thinks her husband is dead, only for him to come home and find her moved on. But inside she will never completely move on. So now I stand there, and look at him, and he looks at me, and I think, what have I done, he wasn’t dead, and I’m the ***** who just moved on. But I didn’t completely move on. I’m not completely ok. People say how can I care, think about the way he treated you. But those people don’t understand. And I love my new boyfriend to death, and I want to be with him forever. But it’s just not the same. I don’t love him the way I loved Patrick. I hate to say it but it’s true. It’s not as passionate, I haven’t immersed myself completely. I don’t think I can ever love like that again. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t love Andrew more or as much. I just don’t think I can ever love anyone that way again. It’s like I can’t risk it. I can’t risk giving all of myself, because the last time I did that I was almost destroyed. Maybe that first love was a naive and immature love. Young love, as they say. But I’m not over it, and I might never be over it. I hate having to hide my feelings. I feel like should be wearing black and crying all the time. How long is an appropriate mourning period? Longer than 8 months I know that. But I can’t wear black and cry; it would hurt my current boyfriend too much. I have to try and focus on all the bad, keep thinking about all those names he called me, all those times he made me feel like he hated me, all those times he shoved me, threw me around, broke my stuff and hit me. How he tried to control me, and make me feel worthless. I have to think of those things, I need to find a way to survive. And that’s the whole point, I had to survive when we were together, and I thought leaving would make it better. But I’m still just surviving. Don’t get me wrong. I’m better than I was most of the time, but there is an ache and emptiness inside of me, that doesn’t seem to want to go away. I just have to keep reminding myself that it will get better and better, little by little. I just can’t keep it in anymore; I have to get it out. I have to talk to someone. Maybe I shouldn’t have rushed into things with Andrew, I’ve made many mistakes, but he is a part of the building of my new life.